“When I wrote Rabbit Hole, it was kind of like a lightbulb moment and I found the exact sounds and tones I was looking for in my own voice.”
That lightbulb moment changed everything, however. It was the moment that a 22-year-old girl from the Mornington Peninsula realised exactly who she wanted to be as an artist. A girl who once spent hours crying over her piano trying to figure out what she wanted to write now knew what she wanted to write. So she wrote about the experience of finding herself as a writer.
“From that point on it really shaped me and my music and what I wanted my music to do. From deciding what I wear to where I perform. I mean, I didn’t even think lightbulb moments existed til then. It was a surreal moment to watch that idea tick over in my brain.”
Having never seen a piano until the age of 13, there is no doubt that Aimee’s music career has come a long way. She studied flute through AMEB up until grade seven, and also plays guitar and saxophone. It was singing; however, that really stole her heart.
“Singing was the turning point of where I wanted to go as well and I also started doing high school productions. I did Annie, High School Musical – I got my first lead role in the Little Shock of Horrors. I touched on lots of different things until I worked out what I wanted to do.”
Aimee – who has adopted the stage name CHMBRS – admits that she spent years trying to replicate other artists’ voices and styles. With influences that range from Foo Fighters to Adele, this was never going to be particularly easy.
“My influences are so random. One of my biggest idols is Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. I just think he’s a legend. I’m so inspired by his constant perfection and passion. He recorded the entire first Foo Fighters album with the intention of making it perfect. I love his words, the way he writes and his honesty. I love Adele’s feeling and compassion. My favourite artist currently is BANKS and I think she’s just doing something completely unique. I thought Pink was the bee’s knee’s when I was younger. There are so many people that are crazy creative, it’s such a hard thing to pinpoint.”
Even when she began writing her own music at the age of 16, she struggled to find her own grounding and finding what she was truly passionate about.
“I thought it [her first songs] sounded rubbish- not even Disney would take it, it was so sickly sweet. I tried writing for a couple of years but I never felt passionate about anything I wrote. I critiqued it and I was like ‘no that’s not good, it’s not catchy, I don’t want to write about that.’
“In about October or November of 2015 I was having lessons with one of my teachers and he set me goal to starting writing songs. He said ‘you know, you’re at that stage where you need to be writing. You can’t just sing covers anymore.’ He gave me week’s timeframe.”
It was from the creation of Rabbit Hole that her debut EP was born. Unlike the rest of the EP; however, Aimee confesses that it is the one song that has stayed true to its original composition: from the moment it was born to the moment it was produced.
“I struck a chord progression that really resonated with how I was feeling in that moment. Then the melody came through and the words ‘Rabbit Hole’ kept coming through. I kept writing the lyrics line by line and then took that song and performed it at an end-of-year concert. I also took it to, who is now my producer, Josh, but he was my piano teacher at the time. He took it and put a bit of magic into it. Even then though, it was still so close to how it was when I first wrote it.”
With writing being relatively new to her, Aimee admits she doesn’t like to force it. She prefers it comes naturally as she needs to be moved for ideas to come through. Most of the rest of the EP; however, was written across three full days, Aimee and her producer Josh sitting at his grand piano writing away. “We’d often bounce of each other’s ideas,” Aimee confesses.
There is one particular song on the EP that resonates with her more than most. A huge Harry Potter fan, Aimee found herself in the studio the morning of actor Alan Rickman’s death. Paying tribute to the actor, Aimee sat down and wrote everything she felt, creating the most heartfelt, yet only acoustic track on the EP. “I just really couldn’t comprehend it,” Aimee told the Real Songwriters of Melbourne, “It’s a beautiful song. Every song that came out on the EP comes from a strong emotion. I like to think my songs are really emotionally driven where I just want to cut to the chorus describing the feeling in that moment.”
Aimee is now applying the finishing touches to her EP and is working on preparing to market it. She plans to share it at the Real Songwriters of Melbourne Live Show #4, making it the second time she’s ever played it live. As for her hopes for the EP, she wants to help others and she wants others to enjoy it.
“I hope I move someone! It’d be great if someone came back and said to me ‘your music really helped me get through today.’ I’d like to do a nice big EP launch to celebrate it and tour with it. I’d love to travel with it- I’ve got my eyes set on London. But, I suppose chips will fall where they may and things will happen if they’re meant to.”
After finding herself as an artist, adopting a stage name was crucial to Aimee forming her identity. ‘CHMBRS,’ a play on her surname ‘Chambers,’ gave her another edge whilst staying true to herself. “Like this is the performing Aimee, this isn’t the Aimee that sits at home with her dog or boxing or something,” she said.
Aimee is looking forward to the Real Songwriters of Melbourne Live Show #4, where she is hoping to receive constructive feedback on her set and getting to share things she doesn’t always share on stage.
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra